Respecting My Elders: Age & the Creative Spirit Photographs by Ellen Wallenstein 2008-2012
Sep 11—Dec 6 Opening Reception: Wed, Oct 21, 5-6:30 pm
About the Exhibit Respecting My Elders is a selection of portraits of individuals over the age of 80 by Ellen Wallenstein. Photographed in natural light at their homes and studios, the exhibit features artists and intellectuals born at the beginning of the last century.
“Known as the ‘Greatest Generation’ and coming of age between the two World Wars, the effect of this generation’s contribution is evident in their creative work, which includes books, poems, paintings, photographs, plays and performances,” notes Wallenstein. “My photographs are meant to celebrate these individuals and to inspire admiration by future generations.”
Respecting My Elders builds upon a previous venture, Opus for Anne, in which Wallenstein documented three years of weekly visits to an elderly hospice patient who became a close friend. “After she died I felt inspired to contact others of her age whom I admired and who had influenced me greatly as I was becoming an artist,” Wallenstein comments. “I began in a ‘six-degrees-of-separation’ manner, starting with my mother and her circle, asking friends and colleagues for suggestions and introductions, as well as contacting strangers I was interested to meet. This led me to some fascinating people who in turn recommended me to their friends and colleagues. Each person I met was still actively engaged with his or her craft. As an artist I am curious about how to sustain one’s interest, talent and practice over a lifetime, especially a long one. It takes stamina, drive and a deep belief in one’s creative self. I am awed by the genius of these people.”